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Asagraum – Potestas Magicum Diaboli

Asagraum
Potestas Magicum Diaboli
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 November 2017, 7:26 AM

Black Metal duo ASAGRAUM formed in 2015 with members from The Netherlands and Norway. Their goal as a band was to make “Satanic Black Metal with the old school feeling of the eternal 90’s greats, but also with dark psychedelic influences.” Following the release of a three-track promo in early 2017, the band headed into the studio in Sweden to write and record “Potestas Magicum Diaboli” under the KVLT record label. The album contains eight tracks.

“Transformation” is the opening track. Polar, skin numbing air blows through the hollows of a burned out church. Black shadows are shrouded in the darkness, illuminated by the light of the full moon. Vile creatures with glowing red eyes begin to gather, to march against humanity. “Black Triangle Temple” has a similar evil quality. Clean and dirty guitar chords combine with shrieking vocals and steady blast beat drumming. There are also elements of Doom here, and although the traditional Black Metal sound is the main feature, the song is well-crafted in a way that brings some diversity to the table. “Leviathan” has a suspenseful opening that quickly gives way to a mid-tempo track. When they talk about the “dark psychedelic” influences, you can pick them up on this song. Lore points mostly to it being a sea creature of sorts, but in other interpretations it is always described as a formidable opponent.

“Gospel of Ignition” is another track with a more ambient opening, but the chaotic instrumentation doesn’t waste much time establishing itself following these few bars. A more formally structured riff is present as well, breaking up some of the torment with a rhythm that sticks with you. “Daar waar ik sterf” translates in English to “Where I Die.” It has a truly horrific and frightening sound, from raging vocals and something droning in the background that sound like souls moaning in agony. “Black Sun Prayer” throws a bit of a curve at you with an unconventional meter. Guitars and drums rage and you can hear some of the bass in the mix here that wasn’t so obvious before. There’s a passage towards the end that is so harrowing it could be used as a spell to summon and underworld creature.

“Carried by Lucifer’s Wings” has a traditional Black Metal snarl from seething vocals that come out like licks of flames on a forked tongue. At times it is pretty rhythmic while other times it takes off like a jet plane, leaving a trial of scorching fumes. “I Burn with the Devil” closes the album; a fitting ending title. It has a culminating sound, wrapping up a horrific listening experience that almost makes you want to atone for your sins afterwards. In the very diverse genre of Black Metal these days, it’s actually refreshing to hear an album steep in the history of the genre. “Potestas Magicum Diaboli” is one of those albums that just gets under your skin and right to the heart of Satanic Metal.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Transformation
2. Black Triangle Temple
3. Leviathan
4. Gospel of Ignition
5. Daar waar ik sterf
6. Black Sun Prayer
7. Carried by Lucifer’s Wings
8. I Burn with the Devil
Lineup:
Obscura – Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Trish Kolsvart – Drums 
Record Label: KVLT Records
     


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